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baltimore Buildings
20NTC Session

Diversifying Our Lists: Connecting With “hard-to-reach” Communities Online


For our movement(s) to win and our organizations to succeed, we know that impacted communities — including people of color, queer and trans communities, working people, and women — must be centered, including and especially in our digital programs.

Unfortunately, traditional strategies to grow non-profit lists often end up acquiring the same homogenous groups of (white, cis/het, and/or upper middle-class) supporters who don’t reflect the true diversity of our movements or leadership. In this training, we’ll show you how to design targeting — and develop creative — in order to connect with and engage traditionally “hard-to-reach” communities through your digital advertising program. We’ll be using the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties’ campaign to build online power to address police brutality among communities of color in their region as our primary case study.

Learning Outcomes

  • Optimize reach & viewability towards diverse communities within Facebook and other popular acquisition platforms
  • Write culturally relevant ad copy directed to diverse communities (particularly communities of color and LGBTQ communities)
  • Develop culturally relevant creative when targeting diverse communities

Target Audience

The target audience is digital staffers with a basic understanding of digital list-building acquisition strategies/platforms -- in targeting or creative.


Content MarketingContent StrategyDigital AdsDigital Inclusion


Gaia Croston

Digital Organizer

ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties

Croston grew up in San Diego and received her bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Edinburgh. Over the past three years, she has worked at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties to carry out campaigns to further equity, justice, and civil rights including campaigns for affordable housing, police accountability, immigration reform, and criminal justice reform. She works to center the leadership of impacted communities throughout our region in the affiliate’s organizing and communications. In her spare time, she likes to travel, explore her hometown, and volunteer on a planning committee that puts on year-round programming for LGBTQ+ San Diegans.



March 25, 2020


1:45pm – 3:00pm